UV - Unmanned Vehicles

ScanEagle aids disaster recovery missions

4th December 2017 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Insitu's ScanEagle UAS has taken part in disaster recovery and fire suppression missions in California, Oregon and Texas, the company announced on 28 November.

Insitu's INEXA Solutions aerial remote sensing services suite, which includes the ScanEagle UAS, as well as manned aircraft equipped with scanning payloads and sensors, assisted disaster recovery efforts in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The company deployed operations personnel and four ScanEagle UAS platforms to Corpus Christi, Sugarland, and other sites around Houston to aid infrastructure assessments, search and rescue, security and monitoring as well as unmanned and manned aviation overwatch protection.

Insitu launched and conducted beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations over the Port of Corpus Christi, which was blocked with submerged debris. The Insitu team conducted main channel assessments, identified navigation hazards and isolated damage to the port's critical infrastructure. The team located a submerged ship in the bay, and provided debris maps and other information to response crews that contributed to the reopening of the port within six days.

At Sugarland, Texas, Insitu used payloads including IR and full-colour video, telescopic optics, and broad area precision mapping for information delivery. The team flew the ScanEagle BVLOS, using the range and endurance of the aircraft to extend the limits of its data collection missions.

At the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon, ScanEagle provided near real-time data for firefighters and first responders, resulting in heightened emergency response efforts, increased situational awareness and safety, and supported planning and resource allocation. In October, the UAS provided data on hot spot and fire line locations, and disseminated up-to-date information to firefighters in efforts to contain the Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California.

Mark Bauman, VP and general manager, Insitu commercial, said: ‘Throughout August, September, and October, we were extremely busy assisting with disaster recovery and fire suppression activities. We are very pleased to provide our expertise in aerial remote sensing and data analytics to deliver valuable information for first responders and incident commanders.’

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